Texas Hold’em Tournament – Playing Heads-Up Takes Nerve, Skill And Bluff

Playing heads-up is the closest you’ll ever get to feeling like you’re playing Russian roulette with Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter. There might not be a gun to your head, but going toe to toe at the poker table is a high pressure situation.

And if you can’t conquer this aspect of the game then there’s no chance that you’ll be able to pull off your dream win, like American Chris Moneymaker.

Moneymaker busted opposition out through a number of online satellite tournaments on his way to winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas in 2003, scooping $3.6 million when he knocked out his last opponent on the final table. slot138 daftar Neither Moneymaker nor this year’s winner, Australian Joe Hachem, had played in major US tournaments before but both proved that as well as playing the cards they were skilled at bullying an opponent in single combat.

Heads-up is much like a game of chicken – you don’t need the fastest car or, in this case, the best hand. The nerves to stay on target and not deviate from the line once the pedal has hit the metal are far more important qualities. This kamikaze attitude could get you into trouble if you crash your Route 66 racer into a King Kong pick-up truck, but without it you may as well walk away from the poker table before you even lay down your first blind.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need the best hand to win; it doesn’t matter what cards you get dealt if the other person folds. If they toss in their 10-8 and you raise them just above the blind, if they call you they may not have anything either. Either way, you win.

Playing to tight on the button is buying yourself time. The riskier the better because you’re either waiting for a premium hand or for a premium hand to make a big raise, but in the end it means you’ll be able to potentially steal the pot every time.

Heads-up is much likemarathonsscheduled, you need to get to the top of the leaderboard to finish first. It’s roughly 20 minutes faster than a tournament, and usually much less punishing as well. The thing about heads-up poker is that it’s basically an even game, unless you’re cheating.

There are a lot of solid heads-up players out there, and you can generally find one and get into his game. When you’re sitting on the button you have a pretty good idea of what the top dogs are going to do in terms of raises and continuation bets, and if you’re not sitting there as a dog, you have no idea where you stand.

It’s tough to describe what to do in terms of outcome without sitting at the table, but the chances of being crushed are much higher than in a normal scheduled game. If you’re prepared to lose a big number of chips just to end up in the money, heads-up is for you. If you want to win a prize, or play for 4 hours, schedule your game to be heads-up; you’ll be prepared mentally and physically regardless of the result of the hand.

straights and flushes

Because of the nature of the game, you can’t rely on any patterns or trends in heads-up play, because it’s inherently unpredictable. You can’t read other player’s hands at all, and you can’t discern who’s going to be aggressive and who’s not. What you can rely on is the fact that you’ll be playing a different range of cards than the opponent, and that you’ll generally have the better hand.

You’ll see a lot of players make huge pre-flop raises with hands like pocket sevens, or pocket eights. When they have a good hand, especially in position, you can respect these raises, because generally people at this level don’t mean anything except big pairs and with bigger pairs they’ll be raising fairly modest amounts pre-flop. When you have the smaller pairs, you’ll generally be folding unless you’re in position and the raise hasn’t been made.

Against a player who’s not generally known for his loose, aggressive play, you can look for a situation to trap them into using their aggressive style. If you know a player rarely raises pre-flop, you can call him with almost any two cards, and when you’re in position and have a monster, you can re-raise and isolate.

You can also turn the tables around and use his aggression against him, by playing more passive yourself, and calling with almost any cards if you’re in position.

Published by Jason